169 Optimization of Consumer Unit (CU), Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), Distribution Unit (DU) and packaging – central to the development of new/changes to existing products

Optimization of Consumer Unit (CU), Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), Distribution Unit (DU) and packaging – central to the development of new/changes to existing products

The grocery industry has a common goal of being able to:

  • Streamline product flow
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Promote sales
  • Reduce shrinkage

when products are being developed/changed.

To achieve this, it is crucial to standardize and optimize packaging on the product at all packaging levels – Consumer Unit (CU), Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) and Distribution Unit (DU).

STAND has therefore prepared a standard for this, which applies to all packaging levels.

Audience for the standard is managers and everyone who works with product development, assortment and logistics in the value chain.

By complying with the standard, processes in the value chain are optimized and gains can be extracted in a number of areas such as:

Warehouse

  • Form Stable Distribution Units (DU) and Stock Keeping Units (SKU)
  • Correct quality of Distribution Units (DU) and Stock Keeping Units (SKU) for efficient handling through warehouse

Outbound transport

  • Withstand double stacking
  • Avoids shrinkage and damage

 Inbound transport

  • High case fill rate
  • Double stacking of pallets
  • Avoiding transport damage

 Shop

  • Effective replenishment
  • Sales-friendly, good visibility when Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is used to expose products
  • Optimal use of shelf space
  • Low food waste, with correct number of Consumer Units (CU) in Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

 Consumer

  • Optimal and user-friendly packaging
  • Clear, accurate and complementary product declaration
  • Recycling labelling

In addition, optimization of packaging through compliance with the standard will reduce environmental impact at all stages in the value chain, as part of the industry agreement with the authorities.

Important notice
All products must follow the GS1 Allocation rules. (chapter 2.4). These are international rules and are mainly based on the fact that a change of over 20% to a physical dimension, on any axis, or gross weight, requires assignment of a new GTIN.

In addition, the following applies to Norway:

  • For products registered in the Tradesolution EPD base, approval of the grocery chains is required to keep existing GTIN on a product, also for changes below 20%
  • Frequent cumulative changes, without changing the GTIN, in avoidance of the 20% rule is an unacceptable practice. Trading partners should be notified about all dimensional changes. Cumulative changes might cause problems for trading partners and may obstruct the transport and supply of a product
  • Local, national or regional regulations may require more frequent GTIN changes. Such regulations have precedence over the rules provided within the GTIN Management Standard

Exception from the standard
Under special conditions, exceptions from industry standards and guidelines may be relevant.
Exceptions must be agreed separately between the parties concerned and shall be described in Checklist for optimization of Consumer Unit (CU), Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) and Distribution Unit (DU).

The check list can be downloaded as a separate document.

Published on: 9. August 2018
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